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Full text of "NightRider"

2/9

thought that that was the time for him to go down and get
on his mare and ride over to the Burnharn place and talk to
May. He had felt sure, standing there in the middle of the
floor and watching the pieces of clothes being dropped limply
into the boxes, that if he went over there and talked to her
she would come back, He had not thought of what words
he could say, or of what thoughts and feelings, even, would
seek expression in words. Merely, it had occurred to him, If
I go tali to her . . . But he had not gone, He had stood in
the middle of the floor, as though rooted to the spot, and then
the negro man, with a humble and apologetic stoop, had
begun to carry the boxes and bags down.

Mr. Munn had stood at the window of the bedroom and
watched the negro drive off, with the surrey piled high with
May's suitcases and boxes. Then he had looked about the
room, moving here and there as though hunting for a mislaid
object. By evening, however, he felt more composed. His
composure had been mysterious to him, as on the night of
Trevelyan's death. It had been, to his mind, a composure
weighty and profound, but dangerous, like a great boulder
balanced on the lip of a ravine, but balanced so precariously
that, in the end, a breath of wind or the ignorant scurrying
of some small ground creature may send it crashing.

One night, as he walked in the yard under the maples, three
or four negroes passed the yard on the way back to visit one
of the cabins. They were laughing and talking as they passed,
and he leaned on the top board of the fence and listened to
them until they were out of hearing. Then, a little later, he
heard singing. They had, apparently, gone to Old Mac's
cabin, and were singing there. He could not make out the
words. Suddenly, he visualized them all, sitting in Old Mac's
cabin, where a little fire would be smouldering, although the
night was warm enough for the door to be open, sitting there
around a smoky lamp, or standing loose-jointedly in the
shadows, and singing together, with their heads thrown back
and their eyes half-closed,

"God damn!    God damn!    God damn!" he repeatdl